Can't Find a Job (Draftsperson) + Expiring Visa

Hello everyone,
I’ll tell my story as I am a bit desperate and have no idea of what to do.

So, I am 22yo today, came to Australia by myself when I was 18, left my country (Brazil) to chase my dream of living in a english-speaking country.
First visa, I saved money to study Civil construction design + Civil Engineering (Technician), my biggest mistake was: I had no money to start TAFE (was asking 16.000 upfront, VISA + Health insurance+ first semester) so I had to go to a college that was similar to TAFE.
before I graduated (April 2020) corona came and made my life a way harder. I was basically working to live and pay my college which was 26,000$ (1200$/month) for 2 years. couldn’t save much money as I had to study 2 weekdays, so I have always tracked my expenses carefully, I never had issues paying the college, but never had much money left as well.
When I graduated I couldn’t find a job simply cause I had to make money to survive during the Covid lockdown, Did a PTE test, got the grade, then I applied to my Graduate Visa in June 2020, which costed me a bit of money that I had left.
then since October 2020, I started looking for a job, paid a professional to prepare my resume and cover letter, and applied for a bunch of jobs.
First I was applying for jobs in regional area, which was my main plan, so It would be easier to get a new visa(491), but after a while I was applying for jobs everywhere and always receiving ‘You’re unlikely to progress’.
My friend she started looking for 2 weeks and she already found (she had a bit of experience outside australia).
I saved money so I could work in exchange of experience and pay my bills during that period, but not even that is working.

But the big thing is: I have only 10 months left of visa, and still can’t find a job(as a DRAFTSPERSON) I really don’t know what to do, and the immigration lawyer didn’t help me much either.
Then decide to come here and ask help. does anyone have any idea on what I could do?

I gave up on everything for pretty much 4 years, haven’t seen my family in 3 years, and the idea of might have failed gives me a big frustration.

Thanks if you’ve read until here. Appreciate it.


  • +1

    Move to a regional area and pick fruit

    • +6

      Wish it was that easy, but it must be experience as a Draftsperson

      • +4

        Draw a diagram of you picking fruit while actually picking fruit

        • +4

          I can help with that

  • +8

    If you do need to come back to your country don't see it as a failure. I am sure you learned a lot in here and have heaps of experiences you can tell your family. I am also sure you miss your family, friends and food. I am also sure you're doing your best to achieve your goals. Immigrant life is not easy. There are some Brazilian groups on WhatsApp that they discuss about visas, maybe they could help you.

    • I’ve joined, been looking for groups on facebook related to my field but didn’t find any, just joined random JOBS group, hoping I can find something related there, I’ll try to find those whatsapp groups.

      Thanks for your suggestions!

      • Also, as mentioned in comment below, maybe try calling firms directly. Does your college/TAFE have any facilities to help you find employment?

  • +8

    I'll be here for moral support.

    • thanks mate. appreciate it, 😊

  • +1

    Keep trying. You just need a bit of luck. Work experience is important to get a job.

    • Yes, I’ll try until my last day, I know as soon as I get a bit of experience, everything else will be a way easier

    • -1

      I mean if his experience was gained in Brazil, I doubt anyone is going to stay up until 3am to do reference checks… Apply for the job you want and name a company you "worked" for over there

  • +1

    Hi OP, I'm sorry to hear about your situation and hope it improves.

    Have you tried joining facebook groups? there are several for people on working visas and also groups for jobs in different areas. You could post on those asking for assistance perhaps.

    • +1

      I’ll search for different groups and do what you said. Thanks for your help 😊

      • +1

        Try "Australian Backpackers" "Jobs in Australia" & "Australian Immigration and Visa Forum" they are all on Facebook Groups.

        I know you're not a backpacker but there are a lot on working holiday visas that could help point you in the right direction.

        Good luck!

  • +2

    Keep striving and don't give up. Your day will come.

    All the best.

    • Thank you, I’ll keep doing my best.

  • +1

    I presume you are in Qld?

    Look at:

    • +1

      Yes, I am. and, I’ve applied for the first link and waiting for my registration approval to apply for the second one, found this MEGT website through the second link which seems to be a website to people looking for traineeships which I didn’t know before. thank you so much for that!

  • +1

    Surveying firms definitely need drafters. Maybe try giving a few firms a call and ask if they are hiring a drafts person.

    • I didn’t know about that. I’ll start looking for job with them as well. thank you 😊

    • Great advice - I know the physical surveyors are desperate for qualified staff in my regionalarea

  • +4

    The piece of advice that I can give you is to don't limit yourself to just sending online job applications, give the companies a call or try to visit their main office and ask for the HR manager.
    This is definitely more hard work than just sending emails or clicking a couple of buttons on, but companies really like people with initiative and enthusiasm, and by doing that you can make a difference.

    This is what happened to me 18 months ago in a very similar position to yours (485 Visa + draftsperson after having studied at TAFE)…the hiring process was pretty much closed, but making that call got me a spot to have an interview which eventually got me the position.

    Oh, and if you haven't done it yet, highlight in your resumé that you have unlimited work rights (at least for now).

    Good luck!

    • +1

      I work with commercial removals/delivering high end furniture. Once upon a time I do work for engineering companies/customers that owns engineer companies.
      I always try to speak with them, see if I can get a direction or maybe a chance to start but until today it didn’t work. I’ll keep trying that as I think it’s the most possible way that I’ll have a chance.
      Also, thank you for the suggestion of highlighting in my resume my work lights, I’ll do that now!
      thank you :)

  • +1

    When you get rejected have you rang up and asked why you did not progress and what you need to do to progress and if they have any ideas on where you could get the work to progress?

    Have you looked at seek, jora and indeed? BUT more for which had hunters are putting the adds in that are for jobs in the field you want to get a job in and once you figure out which head hunters are putting the adds in give them a call and see if they can help you find a job.

    • Nope. I haven’t done that. I did for the first time on last week, I applied for the same company for the 3rd time (different advertisements during this year) and still haven’t got an answer. I sent them an email asking why and what I could to to progress further, they didn’t reply yet but I’ll do that with more frequency with the other applications.

      And yes, I’ve been mainly looking for jobs on seek, and now on Jora and MEGT, but will definitely start on indeed as well, thanks! :)

      • Asking why you did not get the job and what you can do to progress further via email will go into the bit bucket, you need to call and speak with a person.

      • Call them if you’ve got a phone number. Recruiters are terrible with email, they love talking on the phone. I worked with a recruiting team (business manager and reporting), the bastards would never stop calling me instead of just writing an email.

  • -3

    Get yourself a new partner who's permanent resident or Australian. Apply for partner visa.

      • +2

        Only problem with that situation is if the Australian actually does meet someone perfect for them, it will act as a black mark on their record and any further applications will most likely be rejected. The reason it's being negged is basically you're asking the guy to use someone for their own selfish purposes, and it's gaming the system - making it harder for genuine applications to progress.

          • +3

            @afoveht: By gaming the system you understand that visa fraud is illegal right? With a potential criminal conviction.

            • @Hardlyworkin: What's fraudulent about it? It's not as though they ask are you in love, do they?

              • @afoveht: Tou obviously haven't been through the process.

                • @Hardlyworkin: Personally, no.

                  I mentioned my friend above. Made it seem pretty simple.

                  FWIW my own MIL came here by the same process, but that was 30 or so years ago.

                  I've not heard of any knockbacks using this process - that's my own observation. I'm a wog, I've seen it done plenty in circles around me.

  • +2

    I'm not sure which job market you're in at the moment but in Perth the amount of drafters we need is bonkers and they're getting big money because of it.
    If you can't find a job in the construction industry in this environment i'm worried there may be a bit more to it.

    Maybe look at resume building/asking why they're rejecting you.

    • I have been applying for jobs on Perth as well, and yes, heaps of jobs there, but mainly for people with experience, I am keeping an eye for jobs for trainee/junior.

      I got a contact of another company that prepares resume, I’ll speak to them, see if something is wrong with it that I can’t see.

  • +1

    Civil technicians (draftspersons) and designers are actually in demand at least for the large consulting engineering firms I'm familiar with. Particularly in the transport (roads, highways, rail) sector. I would recommend attending industry conferences/networking events (EA/whatever), adding the senior civil engineers/designers in your area on Linkedin, then messaging them asking for opportunities and whatever you could offer. Some might find it annoying but you never know, what do you lose?

    • +1

      Exactly, nothing. maybe being annoying is the best way to get a job.
      I will go after events/conferences like you said, my mistake was not going after building a network, and not having a proper LinkedIn profile. definitely something that I’ll do ASAP.
      thanks :)

    • Defence too! Can't get enough draftpersons. Especially with NV1 clearance…..

  • +2

    The only real advice I can give, is GO WHERE THE WORK IS. Don't limit yourself to one area - I've moved 3 cities in 13 years, going where the opportunities are. JUST DO IT.

    • I am applying for jobs around the whole Australia, definitely not an issue for me having to move, I’d like specially to find jobs in regional area, but now, anywhere is valid for me.

  • +1

    I work within construction industry and a collegue of mine graduated from mechanical drafting but he got a job as a draftsperson within the housing construction industry and we are constantly in need of more draftspeople. My advice would be for ou to look for drafting role, not only within civil engineering but also in other areas of construction. You never know people are willing to give you a chance for your first professional job experience in Australia.

    • I am applying for every kind of draft role, Architectural, mechanical, house etc…

      • What about Engineering? While a lot of drafting is now outsourced to India and Manila for much cheaper, there's still a need for some local resources too. Apply to the big design & engineering consultancies and be prepared to relocate to Sydney or Melbourne.

  • Am I correct in assuming you found no work experience during your time studying the subject?

    What is this college that is similar to Tafe that gives you a qualification?

    • Yes, you are.

      It’s a college in Brisbane, the area of Draftsperson isn’t required to have experience hours to get the qualification.

  • Check if the local council is looking for applicants

  • If you are too desperate to live in this country then marry an Australian 😷

  • +1

    Keep networking on LinkedIn, Post for jobs on social sites like Facebook.
    I can only imagine, what you must be going through to spend so much time and money and now have to strive to get a job.
    Take care of yourself.
    Keep trying and networking.
    You will succeed. All the Best.

  • Just remember that just 1 single job can make the difference.

    Some good suggestions above. Getting that door in the door in Australia is all about who you know. Use any contacts you have that work in the industry and look to meet with them. Buying them a coffee is a cheap investment.

  • +11

    Send me an email with CV and experience to [email protected]. I work for a consulting firm with offices from Brisbane to Hobart, largely focused on civil infrastructure projects. We are always looking for draftsman that have initiative.

    We've employed over 30 new staff since November, such is the pipeline of forward secured work. The role may not be in Brisbane, is moving going to be a problem?

  • +2

    I'm a civil engineering recruiter.

    Generally in Australia, it’s next to impossible for an agency recruiter like myself to place a person without too much industry relevant Australian experience in to their first few roles here.

    If I send a CV without enough experience to clients, all that generally happens is the client rejects the submission. This has a very high potential of the job seeker not having a positive 1st introduction to the client. Later, clients can’t always remember why they rejected a resume, leading to poor outcomes for the job seeker.

    There are roles for people without too much Australian or industry experience, my understanding is that companies are looking for a personal approach & not an engagement through a 3rd party external recruiter, like myself

    My recommendation is to

    1. Build a list of companies, make the first introduction and then use polite, patient persistence to follow up regularly every two weeks or so.
    2. Approach organisations you have worked for in the past that have Australian or cross industry operations, or search for colleagues you worked with previously who now work for those companies for guidance and introductions.
    3. Use “Advanced Search” and select the button “Exclude staffing agencies” to find companies advertising directly. Trial different industry keyword combinations.

    Best of luck in the search.

    • That's interesting, we just placed an architectural graduate in a civil drafting role with no job experience. We're desperate for someone with any kind of design skills, she showed initiative, is fitting in nicely and learning well.

      Heck, we employed a litteral Russian rocket scientist in the role of structural engineer. He was new to Australia, had an initeresting story, showed initiative and was a good cultural fit.

      • Heck 20 years ago I was involved in getting a Russian that also had something to do with rockets a programming job.

      • There are definitely jobs for people with no Australian experience.

        It's very rare for a company to pay a 3rd party agency recruiter like myself a fee for someone with no Australian experience.

        My advice is for people with no Australian experience to apply directly to companies hiring.

  • Unfortunately Australia welcomes those that say they are refugees, provides them with a house, car and cash.

    However the hard working English, Irish, French, Brazilians et all who are not looking for a brass razzoo from the government and just want a job get left out on the high tide line and then thrown out of the country.

    Seriously Australia's refugee and immigration policy is all arse about.

    This reply might not help OP but just to emphasize you are not alone.

  • Try
    You might find some useful resources.

  • The job market has picked up recently, been seeing graduate opportunities for engineers. So there are opportunities out there. Its either you suck during the interview or you haven't applied for many jobs.

    How many jobs have you applied so far? When I was a graduate engineer, I submitted over 500 applications, mind you this was during the GFC as well.

    Pro tip - Just spam applications and don't spend too much effort into preparing a CV. It's a numbers game because sometimes these job ads are already filled internally and the manager just needs to publish it to adhere to company policy.

  • Unidan in the Gold Coast is looking for a draftperson.

  • The building industry is booming right now and they would need a lot of draftperson for building plans.

  • +1

    Well I don't think the OP is really serious about finding work. A week after I posted my email address publicly, I haven't heard from them.

    I would have expected if you were desperate for a job you'd take any opportunity offered, I guess not.

    • was the offered job for a draftperson? If not then you can guess why he declined to continue…. Or maybe he does have a job and too busy to update this post. OR has gotten kicked now and now homeless and using free wifi to access the net with…

      • +1

        Look thorough the posts above, I asked for their CV and experience. We have a bunch of drafting positions open in civil, mechanical, electrical and structural, with offices from Brisbane to Hobart. They could have had their pick of job and location but they didn't send me anything, not even a thanks for the offer.

        • I guess he didn't want to relocate… Or no money to relocate so ignoring you.

          • +1

            @Zachary: Read back through OP's posts. It seems they are in Brisbane (that's where they did their training), have looked as far away as Perth, plus this:
            "I am applying for jobs around the whole Australia, definitely not an issue for me having to move, I’d like specially to find jobs in regional area, but now, anywhere is valid for me."

            I could have offered them a job in Brisbane so they didn't need to move, or in Tasmania if they wanted regional. They've missed out because they only wanted to complain, not solve the problem.

  • Hey yo, did you manage to find a job?